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COVID-19: Springs Mayor working to minimize economic impact

Posted at 3:46 PM, Mar 06, 2020

EL PASO COUNTY — Officials in El Paso County are urging calm after a presumptive positive test for COVID-19.

County Commissioner Mark Waller said at a press conference Friday that everyone should "go about their daily lives, while continuing to take simple steps to prevent this and other diseases."

He also said more information will be released as necessary, and that it's important to use credible sources of information regarding the virus.

Waller also said the department wishes the man who tested positive a speedy recovery.

Dr. Robin Johnson, the El Paso County Public Health Medical Director, said the man who tested positive immediately self-isolated when he began to show symptoms. His immediate family members are also quarantined.

She said he also called ahead to a doctor's office before seeking care, a step health officials said is important so staff can be ready for your arrival.

El Paso County Public Health is working to identify people he was in close contact with, and will contact anyone necessary to talk about their risk.

The Mayor of Colorado Springs, John Suthers, said he hopes people do not overreact to the coronavirus, because our local economy could take a hit. "I think its very important that we don't panic, because panicking could really have some very severe economic ramifications," said Suthers.

Health officials said people experiencing a fever, cough, or shortness of breath should call their primary care physician to address any concerns before going in to the office.

They also said it's important to be sure you're getting information from reliable sources. The EPCPH website offers links to the CDC and other state, national and global resources. You can also call Colorado health at 1-877-462-2911.

This comes as statewide presumptive positive cases continue to rise.

The Colorado Deparment of Public Health and Environment's state lab had six additional presumptive positive tests today, including the one in El Paso County.

At least five of the people involved in those cases had recently traveled internationally.

As of March 6, 2020, eight cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Colorado:

Denver County

  • One case in a man in his 40s. The investigation is ongoing.
  • One case in a woman in her 70s, exposed during international travel.

Douglas County

  • One case in a school-aged female, exposed during international travel.
  • One case in a woman in her 40s, exposed during international travel.
  • One case in a woman in her 70s, exposed during international travel.

Eagle County

  • One case in a woman in her 50s, exposed during international travel.

El Paso County

  • One case in a man in his 40s. The investigation is ongoing.

Summit County

  • One case in a man in his 30s, an out-of-state resident who was exposed during international travel or through contact with an out-of-state case.

This week the state lab expanded testing guidelines in an effort to ensure early detection of the virus, and to slow down and limit further transmission.

“The increase in positive tests is not unexpected, and based on the experience of other states, the public health and health care systems have been preparing for additional cases,” said Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan.

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El Paso County Public Health reported Friday a presumptive positive test for COVID-19.

That testing was done at a state level, and county officials said the results will be sent to the CDC for confirmation.

The case involves a man in his 40s who recently traveled to California. He is isolated at home and in stable condition.

El Paso County Public Health is working to identify anyone he was in close contact with.

“We hope he is able to make a full and quick recovery,” said Susan Wheelan, EPCPH Director. “Protecting the health of our community is our top priority, and we are doing everything possible to make sure the public is safe.”

PCPH reminds the public to:

  • Wash your hands frequently or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow shirt sleeve
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

EPCPH also encourages residents to seek out credible, reliable sources of information on COVID-19: